“God calls you to make definitive choices, and he has a plan for each of you: to discover that plan and to respond to your vocation is to move toward personal fulfilment. God calls each of us to be holy, to live his life, but he has a particular path for each one of us. ... The Lord calls some to be priests, to give themselves to him more fully, so as to love all people with the heart of the Good Shepherd.”
- Pope Francis

The process of application to study for the priesthood is in itself a form of discernment as well. The interviews, discussions and paperwork should confirm a sense of vocation in a man and strengthen his sense of calling.

A formal application to enter the seminary and study for the priesthood would begin after a man has been known to the Vocations Office for some time and has taken part in activities of the Office. These are aimed to help the applicant and the Vocations Director to get to know each other and provide an opportunity for informal discussions and interaction with other enquirers. It is also a way of helping the process of discernment and seeing that a man is serious about making a long term commitment. Formal application would not normally take place until a man has been part of the activities of the Vocations Office for at least 6-12 months.

When the Vocations Director and an applicant both discern the time has come for the formal application stage, a number of steps take place:
Formal interview with the Vocations Director
Completion of an autobiography and paperwork
Interview with a psychologist
Interview with a medical doctor
Gathering of references from priests and others
Interview with seminary staff members
Interview with the Archbishop

Seminary Study
The first year at the seminary is very much an introductory and spiritual year. Time is spent learning how to pray; how to live a regular life; study of the Catechism of the Catholic Church; some pastoral work; some academic study including Introduction to Philosophy, Introduction to Spiritual Theology and Ecclesiastical Latin.

Each first year student meets regularly with the seminary formator to monitor his progress and has regular spiritual direction.

The formation programme of the seminary is based upon Pastores Dabo Vobis, emphasising the four pillars of formation: Human, Spiritual, Academic and Pastoral.

More information about the seminary formation programme can be found on the seminary website:

Ordination as a Deacon and Priest are days of great joy for the candidates and for the Church. It is the culmination of many years of study, spiritual, human and pastoral formation. A man is normally ordained as a Deacon in his sixth year of study, while continuing his studies at the seminary and some parish placement. At the conclusion of his studies, a man is ordained to the priesthood by the Archbishop in the cathedral. By the imposition of hand of the Archbishop and the Prayer of Consecration, a man is changed forever and permanently conformed to Christ by the Sacrament of Holy Orders. Such a great gift cannot be fully understood or comprehended, and continues to unfold all throughout the life of the priest.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches us that the sacraments of Holy Orders are directed towards the service and salvation of others; they confer a particular mission in the Church and they serve to build up the People of God

Through the ordained ministry, especially that of bishops and priests, the presence of Christ as head of the Church is made visible in the midst of the community of believers. CCC # 1549

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